It’s hard not to gawk in a “rich people are not like us” way at the revelation that in 2007, NBA player J.J. Redick and ex-girlfriend Vanessa Lopez had an abortion contract, which stated that Redick would “date” Lopez for a year or pay $25,000 in exchange for her getting an abortion if she was pregnant with his child. (Redick denies that she was.) Here’s a snippet of the agreement, which MediaTakeOut has in full:
Kat Stoeffel of the Cut argues that the existence of such a document might actually have a silver lining. If you can contractually obligate abortions, might this be the key to shutting up the most annoying group of human beings to ever operate a keyboard, the “men’s rights activists”? (Scare quotes, because “men’s rights” is like “white pride.”) Stoeffel writes:
The abortion contract may not be the most romantic concept in the world, but it has practical potential. Especially for the straight man who fears accidentally knocking up a woman who unexpectedly wants to carry the pregnancy to term in order keep him and/or his child-support money in her life for the next eighteen years. Or, at the very least, abortion contracts might quiet the men’s-rights types who believe such women are everywhere, conspiring to get pregnant and deny them their right to choose.
Stoeffel argues that such contracts should be precoital, as well as “lighthearted and verbal,” two qualities that are really beyond the capacities of the average self-identified “men’s rights activist.” The sad truth of the matter is there’s nothing in the real world—not even abortion contracts—that will quell the paranoid self-pitying rantings of those who believe men are the “real” oppressed class. The woman who deliberately gets pregnant to trick a man into coughing up child support—so she can live in the lavish style of being a single mom who has less than half of her child-related expenses paid—is one of those myths that exists because of the believer’s emotional needs, not real-world evidence. (Though research does show that a shocking number of men deliberately sabotage women’s birth control.) Like the conservative media whipping themselves into a frenzy over imaginary race riots or claims that gay people are trying to destroy marriage, the belief about the old pregnancy trick perpetuates because it allows bigots to cry that they’re the ones who are under assault.
Not that it’s never happened, ever, of course. Multimillionaire basketball players might have reason to worry that their filthy rich sperm is a valuable commodity, but overall, it’s safe to conclude that the gangs of women sneaking sperm out of the condoms of your average Reddit user is a straight-up urban legend.
None of which should detract from the larger point I think Stoeffel is making: It’s good to know what you’d prefer to do about an unintended pregnancy before it happens. While honorable men understand that a lady has a right to change her mind, sitting down to talk through the what-ifs is never a bad idea.